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Health Aff (Millwood). 2010 Apr;29(4):607-13. doi: 10.1377/hlthaff.2010.0113.

Patient experience should be part of meaningful-use criteria.

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  • 1Group Health Research Institute, Group Health Cooperative, in Seattle, Washington, USA.


The proposed federal "meaningful use" criteria for electronic health records include the direct engagement of patients in their care. In this study, we sought to describe the adoption and use of online services linked to the electronic health record at Group Health Cooperative. By August 2009, six years after the introduction of these services, 30 percent of outpatient "encounters" were actually conducted through secure electronic messaging. Meanwhile, 10 percent of enrollees reviewed medical test results online, while 10 percent went online to request medication refills. These results highlight the need to measure the patient experience as part of meaningful use and to enact policies supporting online and phone communication by patients and providers.

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